Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution

Conflicts exist in all countries and at every level of society. Conflict in itself is not necessarily negative, but rather an expression of differences of interest and usually involves the struggle for justice, equal treatment and development. However, when a conflict is not handled by peaceful means, when it escalates and people resort to violence, the negative impacts can be enormous.

A common and often overlooked reason for escalation and violence is the lack of mechanisms and institutions to address conflicts in a constructive manner. Conflict preventive and resolutive work is undertaken in order to avoid the occurrence of violence and its escalation and recurrence.

Dialogue and mediation are important tools in such work. A dialogue process is an open-ended discussion that entails listening, understanding, and the sharing of perspectives. A mediation process is more formalized, with a mediator providing a framework for negotiations aimed at reaching a concrete settlement, such as a peace agreement. Mediation processes are often instituted when a conflict has escalated and positions are more entrenched than previously.

Reconciliation is an important tool to prevent the recurrence of violence in a society emerging from conflict. Half of all violent conflicts re-emerge five years after the signing of a peace agreement. As such, a course of reconciliation is vital in a post-conflict society and must encompass the majority of the society’s members - whether perpetrators or victims, active or passive, in the underlying struggle.

Reconciliation can involve various approaches and activities. However, official reconciliation processes tend to include scrutiny of the past to establish the truth of what happened during the conflict, the consideration of elements of justice to redress victims, compensation in the form of reparations or memorials and national mourning days, and apologies at official or personal level.

In international peace missions in conflict areas, civilian observers play an increasingly important role. The observers’ mandate differ, but their role is often to monitor and follow up on human rights violations or to oversee the implementation of peace or armistice agreements. Their work is important and helps the international community to understand and resolve ongoing conflicts.

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Executive Summary: Report on UN-FBA joint Learning Forum on Youth, Peace and Security

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IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Linda Forsberg

    Achieving gender equality in UN peacekeeping – a lot like building new doors

    When you visualise a door, what do you see?

    To me, the image of a closed door has similarities to gender equality and UN peacekeeping. Let me explain.

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres aims to achieve gender equality throughout the UN system by 2028. He is actively prioritising to change the inverse relationship across the UN system between seniority and women’s representation – the higher the grade, the larger the gap in gender parity. Particular attention is directed towards ... Read entire post »

    2019-04-18 10:54
  • Posted by Julia Kempny

    Peace and life – or nabad iyo nolol in Somali

    Acute vertigo kicked in as I stepped off the helicopter and my feet touched solid ground for the first time after six days at sea, and I realized that my job as Political Adviser to the EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia) was beyond that of a normal desk job.

    The helicopter had departed from an Italian warship off the coast of Mogadishu where I had spent the better part of a week sailing up ... Read entire post »

    2019-04-10 11:18
  • Posted by Ludmila Ceban

    Elections aside, more focus on the rule of law needed in Ukraine

    During the presidential elections in Ukraine on March 31, 2 690 violations of the electoral law were reported to the police. The Central Electoral Commission received over 130 complaints. But the appeals, complaints and their effectiveness haven’t necessarily made the headlines in the view of the actual election results.

    The type of complaints, however, coupled with over 80 investigations on vote-buying, questionable campaign financing, and the manipulation of administrative resources at the national and local level, are ... Read entire post »

    2019-04-05 11:04
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